6.9/10
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275 user 321 critic

In the Heart of the Sea (2015)

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2:33 | Trailer
A recounting of a New England whaling ship's sinking by a giant whale in 1820, an experience that later inspired the great novel Moby-Dick.

Director:

Ron Howard

Writers:

Charles Leavitt (screenplay), Charles Leavitt (story) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
1,149 ( 231)
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chris Hemsworth ... Owen Chase
Benjamin Walker ... George Pollard
Cillian Murphy ... Matthew Joy
Brendan Gleeson ... Tom Nickerson
Ben Whishaw ... Herman Melville
Michelle Fairley ... Mrs. Nickerson
Tom Holland ... Thomas Nickerson
Paul Anderson ... Caleb Chappel
Frank Dillane ... Henry Coffin
Joseph Mawle ... Benjamin Lawrence
Edward Ashley ... Barzillai Ray
Sam Keeley ... Ramsdell
Osy Ikhile ... Richard Peterson
Gary Beadle ... William Bond
Jamie Sives ... Cole
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Storyline

In the winter of 1820, the New England whaling ship Essex was assaulted by something no one could believe: a whale of mammoth size and will, and an almost human sense of vengeance. The real-life maritime disaster would inspire Herman Melville's Moby-Dick. But that told only half the story. "In the Heart of the Sea" reveals the encounter's harrowing aftermath, as the ship's surviving crew is pushed to their limits and forced to do the unthinkable to stay alive. Braving storms, starvation, panic and despair, the men will call into question their deepest beliefs, from the value of their lives to the morality of their trade, as their captain searches for direction on the open sea and his first mate still seeks to bring the great whale down.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From the director of Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and peril, brief startling violence, and thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although supposedly the inspiration for what would be the "America's epic", written by an American, about Whalers from America, and with the story starting & ending in America, among the first 25+ actors listed in the credits, only ONE is an American. See more »

Goofs

Owen Chase did not, as stated, relocate his family after the Essex incident to become a merchant captain. Instead, he relocated to New Bedford, MA, and continued to captain whalers for over twenty years. Captain Chase eventually became wealthy enough to have his own whaling ship, the Charles Carroll, built. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Herman Melville: [in his letter] How does one come to know the unknowable? What faculties must a man possess? Since it was discovered that whale oil could light our cities in ways never achieved before, it created global demand. It has pushed man to venture further and further into the deep blue unknown. We know not its depths, nor the host of creatures that live there. Monsters. Are they real?
[a huge whale passes]
Herman Melville: Or do the stories exist only to make us respect the sea's dark secrets?
Title Card: NANTUCKET ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Conan: Ron Howard/Sarah Vowell/Lukas Graham (2015) See more »

User Reviews

 
'This is not the whale you are looking for.......'
2 December 2015 | by stephendaxterSee all my reviews

In the Heart of the Sea is an Action/Adventure/Biopic based on the real disaster that inspired Herman Melville's 'Moby-Dick'. The film follows the voyage of the 'Essex', a whaling ship that was bought down in 1820 by a Sperm Whale in the South Pacific, and is a tale of Adventure, Drama, Survival and Boredom. Obviously the main reason I and most other people wanted to go and see this movie was to see this massive whale go toe to toe with the Essex and its crew. Actual confrontations with the whale in this film were few and far between but when they happen, man do they make an impact. This whale was ginormous, he was grand and it was such a spectacle seeing this huge beautiful whale on screen. The way they emphasise his size through juxtaposing him with the boats gives his presence much more weight. Confrontations with the whale were intense and serious edge-of-seat stuff. The CGI effects of this whale were beautiful and incredibly detailed. This would have taken up a huge chunk of the budget as making this whale look as realistic as possible was crucial to the enjoyment of the film. Some of the CGI in the wide shots were well done, but there were still quite a few scenes and wide shots throughout the film, especially in Nantucket that really just didn't look right and did take me out of the film.

The film's biggest problem over the entire film was the pacing and the negative effect that had on my overall enjoyment of the film. This was a lot of the time a very slow film, especially at the beginning where the first 20 minutes or so was very dreary and quite boring. Throughout the film there are quite a few uninteresting moments that constantly just make you lose interest. The biggest culprit of these boring sleep inducing moments were the scenes that are showing Thomas Nickerson (Brendan Gleeson) recounting the events of the film to Herman Melville. Scenes like this are nothing new and have been done in countless films before this, but they were just completely uninteresting and didn't really add anything to the actual story of the film. I guess they were trying to get us to care about his character and his younger self for what he endured but for me at least i could have done without those scenes and it would have cut at least 15 minutes of its long 2 hour runtime and the film would have flowed better and quicker. There was one bit of dialogue early on that i thought spoiled how the film was going to end, but it was a very good piece of misdirection by the writers, if it was intentional.

Acting wise, the film was pretty good. Chris Hemsworth was the obvious standout, he was able to show off his acting talents quite a few times throughout the film, but still it was nothing amazing. The supporting cast was also mostly pretty strong, Benjamin Walker and our friendly neighbourhood Tom Holland were good, not great, just good strong performances. Ron Howard did a pretty good job directing the film, most of the time he nailed the tone of the film. The dramatic action scenes were filmed and directed in a very frantic and chaotic manner that upped the stakes during those intense moments. Especially in the latter portions of the film he does represent the sad tones and emotion pretty well and handles some very confronting scenes in a way that isn't too disturbing but also isn't sugar-coated. The latter half of the film although not free of some boring moments does pick up significantly from the first half when it introduces some survival elements. It doesn't really end on a high note, it should have been a short and sweet ending but it is dragged out a little longer and just ended up being alright.

In the end, this is an Action/Adventure that has its intense, dramatic moments, but is not without some boring moments that if excluded could have kept the film to like 1 hour and 40 minutes and would have made it more enjoyable and impactful. If you are fascinated of the story of Moby-Dick then you will probably get more out of the film than i did but it really wasn't as great as it was meant to be. - 6/10

Also this film believe it or not was supposed to release way back in March of 2015, but it was pushed back to December into Awards season to possibly get some Oscar recognition. Should have stayed in March because i'll be genuinely surprised if this even gets nominated for any awards when you consider all of the other great stuff from this year.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA | Australia | Spain

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 December 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

In the Heart of the Sea See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,053,366, 13 December 2015

Gross USA:

$25,020,758

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$93,920,758
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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